Pilates might seem like a recent fitness craze. If you feel like everybody is doing Pilates these days, you are certainly not wrong.
Pilates is a highly effective, low impact workout designed to help everybody look and feel their best, so it’s really no wonder that more and more people are jumping on board. Despite surging popularity in recent years, however, Pilates has actually been around for a long time.
Where It All Started
The core principles of Pilates were developed by Joseph and Clara Pilates almost a hundred years ago when they opened their New York City-based ‘Body-Conditioning Gym’.
This was the start of their innovative low-impact, core-strengthening exercise method that would eventually spread around the entire world.
Since then, dedicated practitioners around the globe have continued to build on the fundamental poses to continually grow and evolve the practice—and the results have been phenomenal.
Not only is Pilates now more accessible than ever, but the integration of specialized training equipment and reformers continues to level up the discipline. Foundational principles are now proven by scientifically-backed biomechanical tests to allow practitioners to obtain optimal results.
Indeed, Joseph Pilates was already making use of an innovative exercise accessory, which he originally called the “apparatus” back when he pioneered the practice.
He was inspired by the pulleys of the hospital bed which he would use to support the limbs of rehabilitating WWI vets. The earliest version of the wonderful Pilates equipment we now know as a Pilates reformer was basically designed in the likeness of a sliding bed with pulleys attached for added mobility.
At the time, the reformer allowed patients to start rebuilding their strength and flexibility even if they were still bed-bound after a recent injury, thus, greatly speeding the healing process.
Today’s Pilates reformers are still a wonderful rehabilitation accessory. They provide a safe source of support for anybody who has restricted movement due to a chronic or acute condition, an injury, or those who are still in recovery from surgery.
However, the reformer has also become a staple in the standard Pilates practice, complementing the traditional mat-based movements to allow practitioners to target certain muscle groups while allowing for a degree of control that far exceeds that of a standard body-weighted practice alone.
Keep in mind that reformer and mat-based exercises were always designed to be complementary, and the wonderful array of practices available today continue to creatively intermix in wonderfully diverse and imaginative ways.
As Pilates continues to evolve, the modern reformer has become an increasingly essential piece of equipment for anybody hoping to deepen their Pilates practice.
The Future of Pilates
These days, more and more people are discovering the myriad benefits of taking their Pilates practice into their own hands.
Group and private lessons are essential when it comes to learning the basics, but once practitioners get to a level where they can move through the sequences without assistance or adjustments, they can likewise start to practice on their own time and in their own space.
As the Pilates method continues to evolve, more and more people are learning how to take their Pilates practice home, both literally and figuratively. They’re creating dedicated practice spaces in their own living environments where they can work on what they want, when they want, without having to shell out all those extra dollars for regular lessons.
Creating a home Pilates studio is not only a fantastic way to save money, but a lovely way to explore and deepen your Pilates workout routine in a peaceful, relaxed, and entirely judgment-free environment.
That said, dedicated home Pilates spaces are not just for experienced professionals. Building a regular at-home practice routine with the support of a high-quality home reformer is also an excellent way for those who are new to the world of Pilates to speed their learning curve, allowing them all the time they want to practice and solidify the new foundational movements that they learn in a group class setting at their leisure.
Meanwhile, a home reformer is also a fabulous investment for anybody who is living with some form of either chronic or acute movement restrictions. These sophisticated devices were literally designed to speed the rehabilitation process.
They provide the essential support that those recovering from an injury or surgery need to reclaim their strength, flexibility, and power while allowing for a safe and effective way to continually expand their practice.
If there is one big takeaway from this, it is that the future of Pilates is moving toward a model of a regular at-home practice routine, supported by intermittent group or private class reinforcement.
Once you have the essential tools and equipment that you need to practice safely and effectively at home, you can start saving thousands on annual studio membership fees while enjoying the freedom to let your practice soar to whole new levels.
Online retailers, such as Pilates Direct, focus on providing the best home gym and studio-grade reformers that Pilates enthusiasts need to deepen their practice. Not only that, but they also have the accessories and equipment that you need to tailor your practice to your goals, as well as the specialized rehabilitation reformers that are designed to get you back on your feet.
Giulia Ramsey is an avid Reformer Pilates practitioner who has studied with instructors in Germany and the U.S. Her fitness mantra is the Joseph Pilates quote, “Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” Giulia is CMO of PILATES DIRECT - the authorized North America distributor for STOTT Pilates, Peak Pilates, BASI Systems, and Elina Pilates equipment and reformers. Visit pilatesreformersdirect.com to learn more about these product lines. Pilates Direct is also offering an Affiliate Program, accessible at https://pilatesdirect.